Couple granted bail after being charged with rape on Sunday.
Couple granted bail after being charged with rape on Sunday. file

No contact ordered between expectant parents accused of rape

A PREGNANT woman charged with rape was granted bail by police at the weekend due to a "medical emergency".

The woman's partner and alleged co-offender, a man in his 40s, remained in custody until he was granted bail in the Mackay Magistrates Court on Monday morning.

The woman, in her 20s, was first to appear in court on Monday.

Her partner appeared in court later in the morning, also charged with rape. Magistrate Nerida Wilson granted him bail on "very strict" conditions including that he make no contact with his partner.

The man put his head in his hands and appeared upset. Defence solicitor Chris Colwill said that the "only issue" was that the pair was going to have a child.

Ms Wilson said that condition was "absolutely not negotiable" and ordered the man report to police three times a week, on days alternating with the woman's.

The man consented.

Ms Wilson said the two were accused of raping a woman in South Mackay on March 4.

She said the woman allegedly made a report to her boyfriend one week later and made a complaint to police on June 23.

Ms Wilson said the couple had not been charged with rape until Sunday, November 20, which was a significant matter when trying to assess the Crown's case.

She said the Crown case "may not be at its strongest".

Mr Colwill said the man had said the "incident" had been consensual.

He said the man had been charged with other matters, which had been committed to the District Court in September.

Mr Colwill said that on April 9 the man and the alleged rape victim had been at Mackay Base Hospital.

He told the court a third person, who was the complainant in the other alleged charges, had approached and the man had engaged in a discussion with her. The man later had been fined for breaching a bail condition of no contact with the alleged victim.

Mr Colwill said the complainant in this matter had approached police two or three weeks later, but said it was up to Ms Wilson "what conclusion you draw from that".

Prosecutor Sergeant Jakki Poustie said there could be a "number of reasons" the woman did not feeling comfortable reporting the "significant sexual assualt" to police.

She said the police investigation had taken longer as the investigating officer, who had built a trust with the complainant, had been on leave for three months.

Mr Colwill said the man would be contesting the charges.

The woman is to appear in court on December 12 and the man is to appear on January 9.